- Information gap: This technique is one of the easiest and most interesting forms of communicative activity in the speaking lesson. Information-gap activities include a tremendous variety of techniques in which the objectives is to convey or to request i
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- Opinion exchange: Opinion exchange is a difficult technique for students to deal
with at the beginning levels of proficiency, but by the intermediate level, certain techniques
can effectively include the exchange of various opinions.
2.2. The reality of the the study
2.2.1. Background of the study
Our school has got 10 teachers of English aged from between 35 to 55. Almost of
them have at least ten years of teaching experience.
Our current material of teaching English is the text-book Tieng Anh 10, 11, 12 by
Education Publishing House. This text-book is divided into sixteen units, each of them has
been divided into five parts in which “listening and speaking” part aims at providing
students the different topics and structures through listening and reading and requires them
to practice speaking skills. In each semester, students have to learn English in 3 periods per
week.
It can be seen that communication is the goal of English language learning. Its
purpose is to help students develop their communicative competence. This makes teaching
and learning to improve students’ speaking skills to be an important part in any English
course. Like in many other schools, English teachers at Ham Rong High School find out the
benefits of using pair and group work and spend much time to apply these techniques to
develop students’ speaking skills. However, we have some problems such as: large classes;
noises; lazy and passive students. The major concerns of this research are find out the useful
techniques for organizing pair work and group work to help teachers and students in
teaching and learning speaking English.
2.2.2. Methodology
Participants
The subjects of the study are 4 teachers of English who teach English for the grade
10 students of Ham Rong High School. They range from 35 to 45 years of age. The grade
10 students were randomly chosen from over 500 students of 12 classes.
Research instruments
The instruments used to collect data was questionnaire and interview for the teachers
and the students to get information about using pair work, group work in speaking classes.
The first are the questionnaires for the students including 10 questions written in
Vietnamese, was administered to 110 students.
2.2.3. Data analysis
The data of the study was analyzed both quantitatively and qualitatively. As for
quantitative analysis, we used descriptive statistics to quantify the data in form of charts and
figures. The qualitative data were obtained from the interview.
Table 1: Students’ opinions on speaking skill
Questions
Options
a. It’s a compulsory subject in the curriculum
1
2
b. Learning speaking English is to
communicate
c. Speaking English is necessary for your
future job
d. Learning speaking English is your interest
a. very interested
b. interested
Numbers Percent
of students
%
16
14,5
56
68,2
90
81,8
20
19
81
18,2
17,3
73,6
4
c. not very interested
d. no interested
10
0
9,1
0
The statistics in table 1 shows the students’ opinions on speaking skill. It can clearly
be seen that most of the students asked (81,8 %) say that speaking is necessary for their
future job and 73,6 % of them are interested in speaking skill while little of them (14,5 %)
says they learn Speaking skill because English is compulsory at their school. Some students
find English really interesting while there are 56 out of 110 students (62,8 %) who want to
learn speaking skill just to communicate. About 18,2% of them stated that English is their
interest. It means that speaking English is so important for most of the students.
Table 2: Students’ opinions on the way to learn speaking skill
Questions
Options/
Numbers of
students
23
92
16
Percent %
1. Individual work
20,9
2. Pair work and group work
83,6
3
3. whole class
14,5
4. answering the teachers’
33
30
questions
5.listening and taking notes
45
40,9
As can be seen from the table 2, (83,6%) of the students asked said that they like
working in pairs and groups, whereas they had very little favor for working individually
(20,9%) , only 14,5% of them liked working in whole class. 30% of students enjoyed
answering the teacher’ questions and 40,9% liked listening and taking note . From this, it
can be understood that most of the students see the importance of working in pair and group
for the better speaking skill. This also means that pair work and group work are surely the
most suitable activities for the speaking skill.
The pie chart below shows the students’ opinions on the use of pair work, group work
in speaking class
Not very surprising information from table is that the students (85 %) affirm that the
teachers in their school often use the pair work and group work in the speaking lesson very
often because it is compulsory that the teachers implement this to follow the book activities
planned in the teacher’s book and may be for the students’ future language competence.
This is of great use in helping the students to communicate with each other.
Table 3: Students’ opinions on the impact of pair and group work
Questions
5
Options
a. It increases the students’ speaking
time.
b. It promotes students’ independence
and cooperation.
Numbers of
students
Percent
%
82
74,5
80
72,7
5
d. Shy and passive students have more
76
69
chance of expressing themselves
c. It improves students’ motivation.
85
77,3
e. Students can learn from each other.
80
72,7
It was obvious that almost all the students ( more than 70%) found that pair work and
group work were so beneficial for their speaking skill that they can speak more in English,
they can be much more confident and they also have chance to express themselves, their
independence, cooperation and motivation in speaking were improved. Regarding the
benefit of learning from each other of group work, 72,7% (80 out of 110) the students stated
that they learnt each other so much.
The chart follow shows the students’ recommendation for the success of pair and
group work
Chart 2: Activities students wished teachers to select for pair and group work
As can be seen in Chart 3, all of the students (100%) chose role-playing, games,
information gap, discussing, interviewing and opinion exchange to be their favorite
activities. Problem solving was the choice of 75% of the students. And Drama and projects
received only 10% and 20% of the students respectively.
Table 4: Students’ wishes about the partners in pair and group work
Questions
Numbers
Percent
Options/
of students
%
a. Students of the same English proficiency
35
31,8
level.
b. Students of higher English proficiency
40
36,4
level
c. Students of lower English proficiency
7
10
9,1
level.
d. Students sitting next or near to each other.
13
11,8
e. Students of the same interest.
12
10,9
About the students they preferred working with in pairs and in groups, most of the
students wanted to work with the students who were at the same level or higher level of
proficiency. Working with the people they really liked was also preferred by 10,9%. Also,
some of them (11,8%) liked working with the ones at the same table. However, few of them
(9,1%) liked working with the students who were worse at English.
Table 5: Students’ recommendation for the things the teacher should do
6
Questions
Options/
a. Give clear instruction with
examples
b. provide necessary vocabulary and
functional language
c. Go round monitoring students’
performance and help if necessary
Numbers of
students
Percent %
110
100
45
40,9
34
30,9
8
d. Minimize teacher’s talking time
110
100
e. not to interrupt when students’
67
60,9
talking time
f. Always provide feedback, praise
110
100
One
and encourage the students.
very
g. Others
6
5,4
important thing which helps to improve group work activities is to get the students ideas
about what the teachers should do about that. It is quite clear that all of them (100 %)
wanted their teachers to minimize his/her talking time, to create a competitive atmosphere,
to give feedback, praise and encouragement and give clear instruction. But 60,9% wanted
their teachers not to interrupt when they made mistakes. 40,9 % would like their teacher to
give enough necessary vocabulary and functional language for their activities.
The bar chart bellow shows the students’ appreciation the improvement of their
learning speaking English after the 1st semester of using pair work and group work.
Chart 3: Students’ response to pair work and group work activities (Question 9)
The data from Chart 3 showed that more than half of the students (65.5 %) were
interested in pair work and group work activities. 18.2% of them even were very interested
in working in pairs and in groups. This showed that pair work and group work could attract
students and increased their interest in the lesson as well.
On the other hand, 10.9% of students were not very interested and only 6 out of 110
students found pair work and group work activities boring.
From that, we can see the reasons why students don’t like working in pair and group
are mainly on the ways of organizing pair and group work. Therefore, it’s very necessary
that teachers have to try their best to design those activities effectively.
After the first semester of learning speaking English through pair work and group
work, the following results were conducted from questionnaires and interview. 87 out of
110 students (79.1%) strongly agreed that working in pair and group could help their
interest and participation in learning increased. The reasons are because of many benefits of
pair work and group work, such as they felt more confident to speak, they helped each other
7
to solve teacher’s problems, or they have more chance to speak… 9.1% of students said that
those activities were not useful for learning speaking as we can in the result of Question 9.
On the other hand, some of students (11.8%) showed the other opinions that pair work and
group work were either helpful or unhelpful. However, in the summary, it’s true that the pair
work and group work are the beneficial techniques in learning speaking English at Ham
Rong High School
For the benefit of pair and group work activities, 100% of them claimed that pair and
group work were very beneficial and helped students to increase the students’ speaking
time, to promote students’ independence and cooperation, to improves students’ motivation,
to decrease the teacher speaking time and helps shy and passive students have more chance
of expressing themselves and learn from each other. They also gave some more benefits
such as: to creates exciting atmosphere as it lends itself to game-like activities which frees
the teacher from his/her hard role of “an expert who always lectures”, This proved that these
two techniques could increase students’ participation and interest in the class.
2.3. Teachers’ implementation of pair work, group work in current classes as teaching
experience
Regarding the activities the teachers chose for pair and group work, Role playing,
Games, Interview, Information gap, Discussing, Opinion exchange are the most frequently
in which discussing helps to elicit the students’ ideas, background knowledge, role play
helps to make the students understand the nature of English and games help them to do the
group work activities without any pressure and stress. The students may think that they are
playing not just learning. 75 % of the teachers used Projects, problem- solving and only
25% of teachers used drama because they thought that those activities was only suitable for
the high level of English proficiency and took much time to prepare.
Question 7 deals with the way the teacher created the students in pair and group. The
teachers shared with the students the same opinions which didn’t like to group students of
low proficiency. However, they didn’t share the opinions of grouping students sitting next to
or near each other, 100 % of the teachers responded that they always grouped their students
sitting next to or near each other into pairs and groups as they explained that it can save
time, while only few of students likes that. Most of students liked working with the partners
of the same English proficiency level and higher English proficiency level, but only half of
teachers often grouped their students on that way.
Table 7: Things the teachers often do during pair and group work
Number of
Questions
Options
Percent %
teachers
8
a. Give clear instruction with
examples
4
100
b. provide necessary vocabulary and
functional language
4
100
c. Go round the class and help if
necessary
4
100
2
50
3
75
d. Minimize teacher’s talking time
e. not to interrupt when students’
talking time
8
f. Always provide feedback, praise
and encourage the students.
g. Do nothing
4
100
0
0
h. Others
2
50
In this table, question 8 looks into other things the teachers used during group work
activities. The things like giving clear instructions, going round the class and giving help if
necessary, providing vocabulary and functional language and providing feedback, praise
and encourage the students received 100% ideas from the teachers. From the interview, they
said that those activities were helpful to students when working in pairs and groups. Of
course, none of teacher do nothing at the time students working. Half of them chose
minimize teacher’s talking time and not to interrupt when students’ talking time. Some
others ideas are standing in front of the class and observe or remaining in the teacher’s seat
and observe or sometimes can work in pair or group as a member.
Teacher’s appreciation on how useful pair work and group work are to improve
student’s learning speaking English after the 1st semester
From the result of question 9 and the direct interview, when asked about their
students’ attitude to pair work and group work activities, 100% the teachers said that their
students were interested in these activities, even 75% of them said that students were very
interested. This showed that pair work and group work were the favorite activities of
students in speaking lesson. Most students found pair work and group work activities
interesting, which made them participate more in the class.
It can be seen that, teachers and students at Ham Rong High School shared the same
opinion that pair work and group work could help students’ learning speaking English
improved in term of interest and participation in learning process. It meant that these
techniques are helpful to both teachers and students.
2.4. The effectiveness of the teaching experience
2.4.1. How pair work and group work are used in English speaking classes of the 10
grade students at Ham Rong High School?
As can be seen from the survey, it was unmistakable that the two techniques: pair
work and group work were often used in speaking classes at Ham Rong High School. Both
of teachers and students agreed the appropriation of using pair and group work in speaking
lesson. This proved the importance of pair work and group work techniques to teaching and
learning process. However, some students did not like working in pairs and in groups
because of their low level of proficiency. Instead of discussing the problems given, they
talked about others in their mother tongue. And most of the teachers in the survey said that
they designed their own ways to make the group work activities suitable to the students,
these activities were also used but rarely.
The following lesson plan shows how pairwork and group work are used in a
speaking lesson.
Unit 1: A day in the life of….
Period 3:
PART B: SPEAKING
Time: 45 minutes
I. AIMS: Training Ss to improve speaking skill.
II. OBJECTIVES: By the end of this lesson, students will be able to work in pairs to ask
and answer about one's daily activities using a timetable or pictures and they can talk about
their daily routines.
III. TEACHING AIDS: textbooks and handouts…
IV. PROCEDURE:
9
Stages & Content
A.WARM – UP:
A
B
1. Civic education
a. hóa học
2. Technology
b. Vật lí
3. Maths
c. Tin học
4. Literature
d. văn học
5. Physics
e. Địa lí
6. Biology
f. Giáo dục CD
7. Chemistry
g. giáo dục thể chất
8. Physical education h. Lịch sử
9. Geography
i. Cơng nghệ
10. History
j. Tốn
11. Informatics
k. Sinh học
Answers: 1-f ; 2-i ; 3 - j; 4 - d; 5 - b; 6 - k;
7 - a; 8 - g; 9 - e; 10 - h; 11 - c.
B. PRE – SPEAKING:
Review structures of the present simple and
the way of telling time.
Ex: 7.30: seven thirty or half past seven
...
T’s activities
Ss’ activities
- Ask sts to close their books.
- Deliver the handout.
- Ask them to match one item
in column A with one item in
column B.
- Ask them to work in groups
in 2 minutes, then check this
exercise in chorus.
- Ask sts to read aloud the
names of these subjects in
chorus.
- Group work
- Introduce briefly what sts are
going to do in this lesson.
- Ask sts about the verb tense
to use in talking about daily
routines.
- Remind sts of some rules of
the present simple tense.
- Recall the way of telling
time.
- Write some more examples
and ask sts to read aloud.
C. WHILE – SPEAKING:
- Ask sts to open their books.
+ Task 1: Quan is a tenth-grade student. He - Introduce the requirement of
goes to school every morning. Now, look at the task.
his weekly timetable ask and answer
- Ask sts to look at the
questions by using the information from the timetable in the textbook and
timetable.
read through it.
T: What time does Quan have a Civic
- Do the first example with a
Education lesson on Monday?
student.
S: He has a Civic Education lesson at
- Ask the whole class to read
7.15a.m
these sentences again.
T: What lesson does Quan have at 7.15 a.m - Ask two pairs to read again.
on Monday?
- Ask sts to work in pairs in 10
S: At 7.15 on Monday he has a Civic
minutes to ask and answer
Education lesson.
about Quan basing on the
timetable.
- Move round to help sts and
to correct any mistakes if
there are.
- Ask some pairs to report
- Listen and give remarks.
+ Task 2:
- " Quan is at school in the morning, and
- Introduce task 2
- Listen and
answer.
- Open the
textbook.
- Listen to the
teacher.
- Look at the
timetable and
try to
understand it.
- Work in pairs
- Look at
pitures in task
2 and think of
10
what does he do in the afternoon? Please
look at pictures in task 2"
T: ( look at picture 1) What does Quan do
at 2.00 p.m?
Answer: Quan gets up at 14:00 p.m. At
14:15p.m he studies or reads books. At
16:30p.m he watches TV. Then at 17:00p.m
, he cycles to the stadium and plays football
with his friends at 17:15 p.m. At 18:30p.m
he returns home. At 18:45, he takes a
shower, and he has dinner with his family
at 19:00 p.m. At 20:00p.m he does his
exercises.
D. POST – SPEAKING:
+ Task 3:
Tell your classmates about your daily
routine.
Expected ideas
- In the morning
- In the afternoon
- In the evening
- Ask sts to work in pairs to
ask and answer about Quan's
activities.
- Do the first example.
- Ask sts to work in the same
way, remind sts to use the
present simple tense with the
third person.
- Move round to control the
activity and to help sts if
necessary.
- After sts have discussed, ask
a student to talk about all
Quan's activities in the
afternoon.
- Ask sts to think about
themselves, and then work in
small groups to tell their
friends about their daily
routines. - Remind sts that
they are using the present
simple with the first person.
- Move round to check the
activities and to make sure
that sts are working
effectively.
- Ask one or two sts to report
in front of the whole class.
- Check and give remarks.
E. HOMEWORK:
- Write a paragraph ( about 80 words) about - Give homework
your daily routines in workbook.
the phrases to
talk about
Quan's
activities.
- Work in pairs
- Work in
groups
- Think about
theit daily
activities and
talk to their
friends.
- Try to use
English to talk.
- Listen & take
notes
In order to manage students working in pair or groups, the teachers often went round,
and observed the class. They went to each pair, group and helped them to correct the
mistakes, even translated the words into English for them and helped them participate
actively in their work.
To make pair and group work activities work effectively, the teachers also selected
the task carefully, gave clear instructions, grouped the students appropriately, set the focus
and objectives of the activity, and praised and encouraged the students during that time.
They also often set the time limit, provided feedback when having enough time but never let
the students choose their own topic.
From the result of interviewing teachers and students, most of them agreed that
learning speaking English were improved after the 1 st semester of using pair work and group
work. Firstly, pair work and group work activities gave students more opportunities to
11
practice speaking English. In other words, students would get more involved in the lesson.
In addition, students could help each other and learn from each other in pairs or in groups. A
large number of students revealed that they preferred working in pairs and groups as they
were able to learn a lot from their partners especially the ones who were at higher level of
proficiency. Therefore, pair work and group work activities could get almost all students in
the class to contribute to the lesson. Their participation in speaking lesson would be
increased.
The research results also showed that most of students were interested in working in
pairs and in groups. This indicated that students’ interest was increased when they took part
in pair work and group work activities. They often felt active and free as they were put in
pairs and groups to work together. They became self-centered in their learning while their
teacher worked as a consultant or a supervisor. Working in pairs and groups, the students
could express their opinions without being afraid of losing their face. Thus, they felt
comfortable in the class. Therefore, their desire to learn the target language would be raised.
However, teachers should try to organize pair work and group work activities more
effective. Teachers should provide the students with necessary vocabulary and clear
instruction. Also, the group size should include from 3 to 5 students who were at different
level of proficiency. Sometimes, teachers could give students a chance to choose their
partners, which might increase their participation and interest in the task given.
2.4.2. What are useful techniques of pair work and group work to the 10 grade
students in learning speaking English?
The first common activity is using games. Games have been shown to have
advantages and effectiveness in learning English in various ways. First, games bring in
relaxation and fun for students, thus help them learn and retain new words and new
structures more easily. Second, games usually involve friendly competition and they keep
learners interested. These create the motivation for learners of English to get involved and
participate actively in the learning activities. Third, games bring real world context into the
classroom, and enhance students' use of English in a flexible, communicative way.
However, it’s important that games can help teachers to attract students communicating in a
pleasant, entertaining way, thus leading toward the goal of improving learners'
communicative competence. Therefore, using games is one of the most suitable activities in
speaking lessons, especially to the students of low level of English proficiency at Ham Rong
High School.
Secondly, role-play is an effective to use in teaching speaking English. Role play is
very important in teaching speaking because it gives students an opportunity to practice
communicating in different social contexts and in different social roles. In addition, it also
allows students to be creative and to put themselves in another person’s place for a while.
Role play can improve learners’ speaking skills in any situation, and helps learners to
interact. That was the reason why both of teachers and students at Ham Rong High School
12
chose role-play as a suitable activity in teaching – learning speaking. Especially for the shy
learners, role play helps by providing a mask, where learners with difficulty in conversation
are liberated.
The following lesson plan demonstrates how the teachers at Ham Rong High School
apply role-play technique in teaching speaking:
Unit 3: People’s background
PART B: SPEAKING
Time: 45 minites
I. AIMS: Training Ss to improve speaking skill.
II. OBJECTIVES: By the end of this lesson, students will be able to talk about their
background and know how to ask about other people’s background.
III. TEACHING AIDS: textbooks…
IV. PROCEDURE:
Stages & Content
T’s activities
Ss’ activities
A.WARM – UP:
Brainstorming
- Ask sts to close their books. - Individually
What information will tell you about
- Ask them to brainstorm all
work
somebody’s background?
sorts of information which tell
* Answer: family, education,
about somebody’s
experience…
background.
B. PRE – SPEAKING:
Work in pairs and find out the questions
that you can ask when you want to know
about somebody’s background.
Answers
Family:
How many people are there in your
family?
What does your father do?
Education:
Where did you study at high school?
What subjects do you like best?
What degree do you have?
Experience:
How long have you worked as a doctor/
teacher..?
What experience do you have?
- Ask Ss to discuss the
questions that can be used to
get information for each item,
then calls on some Ss to give
questions for each item
- Give answers.
- Work in
pairs.
13
WHILE – SPEAKING:
Imagine you are a journalist. Use the cues
below to interview a classmate about his/
her background or that of a person he/ she
knows well. Change the role when you
have finished.
* Note: Before carrying out the
interview, Ss should study the items of
information carefully and find the
questions for each item.
Greeting: Good morning!
Date of birth: When were you born?
Place of birth: Where were you born?
Home: Where do you live?
Parents: Can you tell me about your
parents?
Brother(s): How many brothers/ sisters
do you have?
Primary school: Which primary school
did you go?
Schoolwork: Were you a member of any
clubs?
Favourite subject: What subject do you
like best?
Thanking: Thank you very much
D. POST – SPEAKING:
+ Task 3:
Tell your classmates about your daily
routine.
E. HOMEWORK:
- Write a paragraph ( about 80 words)
about your daily routines in workbook.
- Prepare the new lesson: LISTENING
- FOR BETTER SS: SEE APPENDIX
- Introduce the task
- Give questions for the
information items
- Ask Ss to draw a form by
themselves.
- Ask Ss to carry out the
interview in pairs.
- Go around the class and
offer help if necessary and to
make sure that all Ss are
working.
- Open the
textbook.
- Listen to the
teacher.
- Look at the
timetable and
try to
understand it.
- Work in pairs
- Look at
pitures in task
2 and think of
the phrases to
talk about
Quan's
activities.
- Work in pairs
- Ask Ss to work in groups
and talk about the person they
have known through interview
- Call on some Ss to give
small talk in front of the class
- Comment on Ss’
performance and make
necessary corrections.
- Work in
groups
- Think about
theit daily
activities and
talk to their
friends.
- Try to use
English to talk.
- Give homework
- Listen & take
notes
The third activity both of teachers and students of Ham Rong High School choose
are Interview. Students can conduct interviews on selected topics with various people. It is a
good idea that the teacher provides a rubric to students so that they know what type of
questions they can ask or what path to follow, but students should prepare their own
interview questions. Conducting interviews with people gives students a chance to practice
their speaking ability not only in class but also outside and helps them becoming socialized.
After interviews, each student can present his or her study to the class. Moreover, students
can interview each other and "introduce" his or her partner to the class.
14